NPR logo

'Wall-E': A Robot Love Story with Heart to Spare

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91896053/91955560" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
'Wall-E': A Robot Love Story with Heart to Spare

Movies

'Wall-E': A Robot Love Story with Heart to Spare

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91896053/91955560" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

Pixar Animation is the closest thing the movie business has to a money machine. The studio produced "Toy Story, "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille." Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan says Pixar's latest, "Wall-E," continues the studio's hot streak.

KENNETH TURAN: "Wall-E" is unusual. Set hundreds of years in the future, its first half does entirely without human dialogue and lives instead on a nourishing diet of sound effects and music.

(Soundbite of music)

TURAN: Wall-E is a robotic trash compactor who has been quietly doing his job, attacking endless mountains of garbage on a truly frightening-looking Earth. Unless you could his pal, a convivial roach, Wall-E is the only thing still moving on a planet whose population has been moved to outer space.

This cranky old bachelor robot has developed a fixation on an old movie he's found. It is, of all things, "Hello Dolly." What entrances Wall-E about the film is the spectacle of people expressing emotion by holding hands.

(Soundbite of music)

TURAN: This lonely Robinson Caruso would like nothing better than to hold hands with another entity - and then it happens. A rocket ship lands, and another machine, a droid named Eve, arrives. What happens between Wall-E and Eve and how they connect to all the humans out in space is where the film is going. That part of the story gets increasingly familiar and sometimes borders on the predictably sentimental. But through it all, Wall-E never loses its sense of wonder - wonder at life, wonder at the universe, even wonder at the power of computer animation to bring us to worlds we've never seen before.

"Wall-E" is daring and traditional, groundbreaking and familiar, apocalyptic and sentimental. How often do we get to say that in these dispiriting times?

SHAPIRO: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times. You can learn more about this week's new movies, including "Wanted" and "Tell No One," at NPR.org.

(Soundbite of music)

SHAPIRO: This is NPR News.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.